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NHL notes: Oduya heads to Thailand for hockey fix

Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Johnny Oduya (27) falls as he tries to check New Jersey Devils centre...

Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Johnny Oduya (27) falls as he tries to check New Jersey Devils centre Patrik Elias (26) in the first period of their NHL hockey game in Newark, New Jersey March 27, 2012. (REUTERS)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:06 PM ET

While his colleagues have headed to Europe or the North American minor leagues to stay sharp during the NHL lockout, Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Johnny Oduya is playing in a more exotic locale.

How's Thailand grab you? Yes, Thailand.

Oduya, who was in Thailand for a vacation, decided to hook up with the Flying Farangs, a Bangkok-based team playing in the 2012 Land of Smiles Ice Hockey Tournament. (Oh, yeah, ex-Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Vesa Toskala was there, too, playing for a Finnish team).

"I didn't know if it would be a good idea but once we started looking into it a bit more we got more excited," Oduya told the Bangkok Post. "I didn't know that it would end up anything like this, this is a much bigger venue than anything I thought I would be part of. In the beginning, the first day, I showed up to practice and it was more like 'Oh you are here, we didn't really think you were going to show up.' They thought it was all talk. I hope they think it's been fun and as long as everybody has a good time I'm happy with that."

The 31-year-old Swede has enjoyed the experience so much, he's talking about going back to Thailand for the tournament when his NHL playing days are over.

If I have another 10 years in the NHL hopefully after I can come and join them playing here and doing the tournaments here," he said.

ENNIS HEALTHY

Buffalo Sabres forward Tyler Ennis's mystery injury has healed and he's back playing for SC Langnau Tigers of the Swiss League.

Nobody is saying what the injury was but Sabres general manager Darcy Regier is just happy that Ennis is back on the ice again. Ennis played in a 5-1 win over Rapperswil Tuesday, recording one assist.

"He's healthy and he's playing," Regier told the Buffalo News. "That's the main thing."

Ennis is one of six Buffalo players who have signed with European teams during the lockout. Regier is trying to follow how his players are doing in a less than ideal situation.

"We are keeping track from a distance," Regier said. "The biggest focus is making sure that we stay in touch, at least in the stats, who's playing, how they're playing, how they're doing and maybe even more importantly are they staying healthy?"

PHILLY HONOURS LINDROS

Eric Lindros will be enshrined next week in the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame.

"It's a special thrill," the retired Flyers centre told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "It's definitely an honour, and I'm awfully proud to be going in with that company."

The 39-year-old centre played 13 seasons in the NHL, eight with the Flyers.

Being inducted Nov. 8 with Lindros are former Philadelphia 76ers coach Doug Collins, 61, former New York Jets defensive lineman Joe Klecko, 59, and catcher Mike Piazza, 44, who played 16 years in the majors. Klecko and Piazza are Pennsylvania natives.

Other Flyers who have been inducted into the Hall are Bobby Clarke, Bernie Parent, Bill Barber, Fred Shero, Ron Hextall, Mark Howe, the 1974-75 Flyers teams and Pennsylvania native Hobey Baker.

EAVES STILL HURTING

Nearly a full year after suffering a concussion, Detroit Red Wings forward Patrick Eaves still isn't close to being healthy enough to play.

Eaves was concussed and had his jaw broken when he was hit in the head by a shot from Nashville Predators defenceman Roman Josi on Nov. 26, 2011. Eaves is being treated by the Red Wings' medical and training staff -- and still being paid because he's injured -- and is seeing a specialist at the University of Michigan.

He's back skating with locked-out teammates a couple of times a week but still hasn't been cleared to play.

"Good days and bad days, still," Eaves told MLive.com. "I just have to stay the course and be positive every day and have more good days than bad days. It's hard to gauge out here, it's summer hockey, two-on-two. I don't feel close to where I was quite yet."

Eaves said his condition hasn't improved even though he started skating again two months ago.

BRIEFLY

Michael Del Zotto, a restricted free agent without an NHL contract, has signed a lockout deal with the Rapperswill-Jona Lakers of the Swiss league. The 22-year-old defenceman played for the New York Rangers last season and talked contract during the off-season with general manager Glen Sather but didn't come to an agreement. Jason Spezza also plays for the Lakers ... Boston Bruins forward Chris Kelly signed with Swiss team HC Red Ice, replacing Nashville Predators forward Patrick Horqvist, who is not renewing his deal with the club. Kelly signed a four-year, $12 million extension with the Bruins in June.


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